Launches Second Decade Programs Focus on the Power of the Individual
March 19, 2003
Washington, D.C., March 19, 2003 — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is commemorating its 10th Anniversary from April 2003 to April 2004 through programs that underscore the resonance and urgency of the lessons of the Holocaust for today’s world.
Since its dedication on April 22, 1993, the Museum has welcomed more than 19 million visitors, including nearly 6 million school children, 2.2. million international visitors, and 72 heads of state/government. It has served millions more through its Web site, www.ushmm.org, traveling exhibitions, and outreach programs. The institution reaches 150,000 teachers each year, and offers specialized programs that serve educators with little or no experience teaching the Holocaust as well as individuals at the most advanced levels. Programs for law enforcement officials, diplomats, and military personnel examine the roles of these institutions during the Holocaust and their implications for contemporary society.
“Holocaust survivors have given the American public and the world the gift of their precious memories, their legacy of remembrance. As trustees of that legacy, we must ensure that the Museum is truly a living memorial,” said Fred S. Zeidman, Chairman, United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
“Our first decade taught us that Holocaust history has the power to speak to everyone – from inner city students to religious leaders, from Naval Academy midshipmen to the police and the FBI,” said Museum Director Sara Bloomfield. “Our second decade plans reflect our expanded vision of the Museum as America’s national resource on Holocaust education – a place where individuals can learn vital lessons from history that offer a valuable perspective on today’s world. The lessons of the Holocaust – about the nature of human evil, the need for vigilance, and the importance of individual responsibility – are needed now more than ever. By using our 10th anniversary to highlight individual examples of resistance, rescue, and renewal, we want to encourage people to examine their own moral choices and responsibilities.”
For example, a 1998 visit to the Museum by Chief Charles H. Ramsey, Washington Metropolitan Police Department, led to the creation of the Museum’s Law Enforcement and Society program, which explores the perspective Holocaust history offers regarding the role of police in a democratic society. It now serves a number of police departments and the FBI. Said Ramsey, “Any person who walks through this Museum or goes through our training [here] would be hard-pressed not to go home and take a deep look inside themselves at their own attitudes and values. Because our recruits take this introspective journey early on in their careers, I am convinced they start off being more aware and more tolerant than they might otherwise have been.”
In addition to highlighting the Museum’s accomplishments of the first 10 years and its significant impact on leaders like Chief Ramsey, the year will include a variety of programs emphasizing the potential of individuals to make a difference:
- April 29, 2003 — An American Mosaic: Lessons from the Holocaust special event featuring testimony from a cross-section of American society that has been impacted by the Museum.
- April 30, 2003 — Days of Remembrance ceremony, Capitol Rotunda, Secretary of State Colin Powell keynote speaker; commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and other heroes who resisted the Nazis.
- April 30, 2003 — Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings exhibition opens; major exhibition focusing on the ideology and targets of the May 1933 book burnings and the immediate and longer-term American reaction.
- May 2003–May 2004 — Silent Witnesses: Artifacts from the Collection of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will be featured in programs around the country.
- June 12, 2003 — Anne Frank the Writer: An Unfinished Story exhibition opens; a selection of original writings, none of which have ever been on display outside the Netherlands.
- September 19, 2003 — Life in Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust exhibition opens; special exhibition on the complex stories of the small number of Jewish children hidden by courageous Jewish and non-Jewish individuals and organizations.
- November 1–2, 2003 — Tribute to Holocaust survivors, a special weekend at the Museum for survivors and their families, and other members of the eyewitness generation, including liberators and rescuers
A public-private partnership, the Museum is a federal institution whose educational activities and outreach are made possible through private donations. More than 250,000 individuals, foundations, and corporations helped build the institution and currently support its programs and operations. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.